Kids' choirs join Foote on stage
Children’s entertainer and comedian Norman Foote tends to shy away from preaching to his audience.
So when his young son suggested his new CD and its title track be called Always Be Yourself, Foote was hesitant at first.
“I don’t like to have strong messages in my music or shows,” the father-of-five said, “but I thought, in this case, it was okay to have a reminder for kids.
“It’s really about embracing who you are and I don’t think that’s something you are ever taught to do as a child,” he said.
Out this past May, Always Be Yourself is Foote’s eighth album and includes 10 new tracks. It follows his 2010 Juno award-winning CD, Love My New Shirt, which that year bested releases from Bobs and Lolo, Charlie Hope, The Kerplunks and The Bee’s Knees.
Always Be Yourself “is not rock ‘n roll,” Foote said, referring to other children’s acts. “Some people try to do that but I like the melody.”
And, for his shows, Foote also likes having an “animated wall of song, action and sound effects” behind him.
Take, for example, his performance at Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way) next Tuesday when Foote will be joined on stage by guest singers from the Coastal Sound Music Academy, Vivo, Aubrey and Aspenwood elementary.
For several weeks, the young choirs have been learning Foote’s new and older tunes. Foote said he’ll rehearse with them once or twice “but never in the theatre because I don’t want them to be nervous.”
Foote’s concerts are fully engaging, filled with humour and silly props. He uses his original songs as educational tools and, for music teachers, he supplies study guides. Often, Foote will offer songwriting workshops for students.
Foote said his aim to allow children to have fun while performing. “The wonderful thing about my shows is that they give a lot back to the kids. They don’t sing complicated harmonies; the goal is for them to enjoy themselves and to keep them focused.”
After his Coquitlam gig, Foote will take his promotional tour to Alberta before returning to the Lower Mainland for seven more dates.
• Norman Foote will appear on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Evergreen Cultural Centre’s family series. For tickets at $14, call the Evergreen box office at 604-927-6555 or visit online at evergreenculturalcentre.ca.